CLARKSBURG, WV (WBOY) – The following county school systems, will be dismissing classes early on Monday due to the solar eclipse:

Barbour County Schools, WV: Early Dismissal – Dismissing at 11:30 AM
Taylor County Schools, WV: 3 Hour Early Dismissal

Stay with WBOY 12 News and StormTracker 12 for the latest school closings and delays.

CLARKSBURG, WV (WBOY) –As we prepare for the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday, some local county school systems are making the decision whether to keep kids in the classroom or send them home due to some of the safety concerns that come with this kind of celestial event.

“Taylor County Schools will operate on a 3 Hour Dismissal on Monday, August 21st, 2017”, says Kathy Green, Taylor County Schools Superintendent. Green said that the decision to send students home on Monday was out of an abundance of caution. 

Along the same lines, Harrison County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Mark Manchin said that they will not be dismissing classes early on Monday despite the decision from some of the neighboring counties.

“Harrison County Schools will not release schools early on August 21, 2017. Through educational activities and announcements, we will continue to remind students of the safety concerns in viewing an eclipse with the naked eye. And, many of our teachers are sending home permission slips for activities planned throughout our schools. Parents can reinforce these safety messages by discussing these precautions with students at home as well,” Manchin said.

As we head into the Eclipse,
NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Administration) offers the follow safety tips for proper eclipse viewing.

More than 300 million people in the United States potentially could directly view the August 21 total solar eclipse, and NASA wants everyone who will witness this celestial phenomenon to do so safely.

That Monday, a partial eclipse will be visible in every state. A total solar eclipse, which is when the Moon completely covers the Sun, will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S. along a 70-mile-wide (112-kilometer-wide) swath of the country.

It’s common sense not to stare directly at the Sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed Sun. But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun. 

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Not use homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

“While NASA isn’t trying to be the eclipse safety glasses ‘police,’ it’s our duty to inform the public about safe ways to view what should be a spectacular sky show for the entire continental United States,” said Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s important that individuals take the responsibility to check they have the proper solar eclipse viewing glasses. With the eclipse a month away today, it’s prudent to practice ahead of time.”

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole — it is not safe.

The following information was sent from the Harrison County Board of Education regarding the eclipse viewing on Monday:

Stay with WBOY 12 News and StormTracker 12 for more information as we head into the Great American Eclipse 2017.